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Gynecological oncology in Egypt has not been an attractive field for most obstetricians and gynecologists. There has been no structure for the management of patients with gynecologic cancers. Many cases were managed by individual decisions based on anecdotal experience rather than evidence based medicine. Furthermore, most gynecologists who also provide gynecologic oncology care have limited experience with upper abdominal surgery. Also, most surgical oncologists perform surgeries without extensive knowledge of the impact and the best approach for each type of gynecological cancer. These findings are due to lack of accredited centers in gynecologic oncology and lack of cancer societies that could establish continuous medical education.
The Oncology Center, Mansoura University, is a specialized cancer center and the second largest cancer center in Egypt. The center provides medical and surgical services for numerous cancer patients in Egypt.1 The CAIRO (Critical Appraisal Initiative for Research in Oncology) journal club was started by the introduction of large scale monthly educational events with a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary orientation. The collaboration between Mansoura Surgical Oncology Department and the CAIRO journal club was a great step towards high quality educational events, forums, and workshops in all fields of oncology. This collaboration led to the development of GO-Egypt, a yearly educational event since 2017. The main goal of such events is to discuss the pitfalls and drawbacks of gynecological oncology practice in the region and to draw a road map to improve such practice.2
Time to Shift
Since 2011, at the Oncology Center, Mansoura University, we have designed a weekly curriculum to discuss updated guidelines in the management of cancer patients. We also established a specific monthly gynecology oncology audit. The main advantage of auditing is to unify the language between different specialties. Currently, we conduct these audits between many universities in Egypt (Cairo, Alexandria, Menofia, Zagazig, and Assuit).
We have established the GO-Egypt annual meeting for the past five consecutive years. The latest, fifth GO, witnessed the launch of the Egyptian Gynecological Oncology Society (EGOS). After the launch of EGOS, we received a number of applications from specialties in the field of oncology, and the society is now growing. Subsequently, the EGOS established many educational events, in the field of imaging, pathology, and basic laparoscopy skills. We also made connections with international cancer societies through monthly online tumor boards, such as the Middle East and Mediterranean Association of Gynecologic Oncologists (MEMAGO), Pan-Arabian Research Society for Gynecologic Oncology (PARSGO), and International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS).
Another major achievement in 2021 was accreditation by the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO) awarded to the Oncology Center, Mansoura University, and to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecological, Alexandria University Hospital (El-Shatby Maternity University Hospital).3
We have many dreams for the field of gynecological oncology in Egypt. These include raising awareness about the management of women with gynecologic cancers, and providing better training and education for all gynecologists and surgical oncologists in Egypt. We are also working on national auditing for the management of cancer patients in Egypt and a well established cancer registry program.
Patient consent for publication
Contributors All authors contributed to the paper. MH: writing, editing, and data collection. AS, ES, and KA: supervision and editing. BR: concept, data collection, and editing.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.